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Thread: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

  1. #11
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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by harekrishna View Post
    Krishna exhorts Arjuna for the rightful war to get rid of Duryodhana for the greater good.
    Yes this is true yet one must keep in mind Arjuna is a kṣatriya and it is his duty to fight i.e. to always exert himself for the destruction of robbers and wicked people as he should put forth his prowess in battle. There is no higher duty for him then the suppression of robbers.
    Yet would this have been Kṛṣṇa's directive to say a vaiśya or brāhmaṇa ? I think the instruction would have been different.

    This whole notion of non-injury (ahiṁsā) is a big deal. To practice it requires much attention ( watchfulness). Over time it gets easier to help the bug or the bee, the spider or the gopher verses just mindless eradication.
    Who has not swatted at a fly or mosquito ( I know I have many times ). And what to do if one's home becomes infested with rats? Now what? We do the best we can to our ability, but still take responsibility for our actions. What more can we do ?

    One must start somewhere to begin.


    praām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #12
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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    I wrote earlier,
    This ahisā अहिंसा we know as non-injury. Some call this non-violence. This infers to all beings ( even ourselves). At the ultimate level this ahisā when in full bloom brings no harm in thought, deed, word or action. This observance is substantial -to bring no harm to any being.
    What of swatting a fly? Or a mosquito? Some even argue , what of bacteria, or the insect world so small that when you walk or drive one brings death to these creatures. It seems to be easier not to bring violence to another person, as it's more overt. Yet the notion here is to do the least harm while on this earth.
    I read the words of svāmī Lakman-jū which he comments upon ahiṁsā and says when fully practiced it takes one swiftly to their goal ( in this case he is discussing mokṣa).


    The more I read and study, non-injury comes up again and again. I am thinking 'why so much attention to this ? I see the value but is there more that I am missing ? '.

    To this I happen to arrive at a discussion between vyāsa-ji and his son śuka in the mahābhārata. He speaks to him of the vānaprastha āśrama ( vana =forest , forest dweller, or 3rd halting place) in life.
    He mentions this vānaprastha never takes note of the evil acts of others, never listens to what is said in dis-praise of others or himself - if this occurs he should remain perfectly silent. This is the medicinal treatment prescribed for him. Hence even listening that discusses injury to another is not healthy.

    Then vyāsa-ji says the following - engulfed within the dharma of ahiṁsā is every other duty and observance. He who forswears ( swears off) the religion of injury (called tikśnaṁ tanuṁ) succeeds in attaining mokṣa whence is the assurance of harmlessness to all creatures.

    This is absolutely brilliant. Within just this one thing , ahiṁsā, all other dharma-s reside. It is said acts are fraught with injury to others. That is why kṛṣṇa informs us in the bhāgavad gītā how to deal with actions and the wisdom of being without the 3 guna-s - outside the whole field of action ( possessed of the self or ātma-vantam).

    When one transcends the 3 guna-s then this field of injury is also left behind. Estabished in yoga perform actions kṛṣṇa tells us. This yoga is the union of the Supreme, which is outside the field of action. If we look to the 4th chapter, 41st śloka, kṛṣṇa says he who has renounced actions by the virtue of yoga ( i.e. estabished in the Supreme) O' winner of wealth ( arjuna), whose doubts are rent asunder by knowledge who is possessed of the Self (ātma-vantam) him, actions do not bind.

    praām

    words
    • Veda vyāsa वेद व्यास, the one who compiled the veda-s, or kṛṣṇa dvaipāyana

    • śuka - means the bright one, a parrot. śuka is the a son of vyāsa and known as the narrator of the bhāgavata-purāṇa to king parikṣit
    • tikśnaṁ tanuṁ -
      • tik+śa + naṁ ;
      • tik = to wound or injure + śa = śastra + na= as it were, like , as tanu - is the body , person, self; some say svakā tanu 'one's own person'; in this application it is considered 'body'.
      • Hence the body (tanu) of knowledge ( śastra) that addresses injury i.e. the sacrifical acts
    • ātma-vantam - ātma=Self + vanta or van = possess, win , become master of
    Last edited by yajvan; 15 November 2010 at 09:29 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #13

    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    Thank you, Eastern Mind, for directing me to this thread. I have many thoughts but don't have the time just now to respond. I'll be back, though. Thanks.

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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    Great informations and conclusions, Yajvan.

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Yes this is true yet one must keep in mind Arjuna is a kṣatriya and it is his duty to fight i.e. to always exert himself for the destruction of robbers and wicked people as he should put forth his prowess in battle. There is no higher duty for him then the suppression of robbers.
    Yet would this have been Kṛṣṇa's directive to say a vaiśya or brāhmaṇa ? I think the instruction would have been different.

    This whole notion of non-injury (ahiṁsā) is a big deal. To practice it requires much attention ( watchfulness). Over time it gets easier to help the bug or the bee, the spider or the gopher verses just mindless eradication.
    Who has not swatted at a fly or mosquito ( I know I have many times ). And what to do if one's home becomes infested with rats? Now what? We do the best we can to our ability, but still take responsibility for our actions. What more can we do ?

    One must start somewhere to begin.


    praām
    I've heard that in this age of Kali, we are all considered to be sudras. I'm not exactly sure from where in the sastras one can conclude this.

    First, what should we get from this? How should we see ourselves in this present condition?

    Second, if we are indeed considered to be sudras, what should be the guidelines for our spiritual path?

    Or maybe this varnasrama classification doesn't directly affect our spiritual life?

    Om Tat Sat

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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    lol

    So now I am talking to them. I told them this year was an exception. I said, "Why don't you just go build down in the ravine, away from this temple. God Ganesha is there too, you know. In fact there are more flowers for you there too. So to get along with your life brethen, we humans, on this fire planet, I suggest that is what you do. Besides, there are some not so nice humans around here that may just have to dispose of you. You and your kind are not always welcome. For example if you go and build over there by the door of the temple, it would not be smart. The people who let you off the hook this year would most likely do a mass murder on you next year. Its good advice for you so I think you should listen. I am the head gardener here, and I don't want any trouble. We've lived in peace for quite some time. Lets keep it that way."

    Aum Namasivaya

    Aum namasivaya
    Vannakkam: Apparently my talking worked as there were no wasp nests in the way of people out there this year.


    Aum Namasivaya

  6. #16
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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: Apparently my talking worked as there were no wasp nests in the way of people out there this year.


    Aum Namasivaya
    EM, I was curious about the outcome but end up not asking.

    Seems like when we're in tune with the Lord with are in tune with everything.

    Om Tat Sat

  7. #17
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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    Vannakkam Pietro: This particular type of wasp is very interesting. I believe they 'think' as a group. At other times I noticed that if you are nasty to one, then the rest will be nasty back, over time. One summer we had a neighbour kid in the yard, and there was a wasp nest under the back porch. He stomped on one and killed it, and he also just like pestering them. That summer my family had more stings than any other summer. Every time you even walked past the porch, they'd get all alert and defensive.

    So its 'You leave me alone, and I'll leave you alone'. Other wasps do know how to swarm, and scientists who have studied honey bees know they communicate by certain flying patterns, something like writing messages in the air.

    We humans underestimate the intelligence of animals. Our egos extend beyond our interaction with humans alone. Another example is with cattle. I grew up on a mixed farm. We had a small herd of beef cattle. In the spring during calving season, the cows had to be fed twice a day in a separate location from their calves. The mothers took turns babysitting or protecting all of the calves while the rest fed. So one mother would fast each day in turn for the overall protection of the group. This was some 50 years back. It may not occur today as the beef industry has worked hard at breeding the intelligence out of cattle.

    Aum Namasivaya

  8. #18
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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    Ok, should I feel bad about killing mosquitos?

    One thing I began to do is knocking them out instead of crushing then, just wave a single hand fast and you make them hit the wall and fall knocked out in the ground, they usually wake up after some 5 minutes or so, must be years of deep coma in mosquito time! LOL

    Anyway, sorry for the silliness but It's a serious concern nonetheless.

    Om Tat Sat

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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    There's an interesting section of Swami Śivananda Radha's Radha: Diary of a Woman's Search in which she talks about bedbugs in the ashram, and her misery in trying to meditate and pursue spiritual practices while covered in painful itchy welts and barely able to sleep.

    As she grew in sense-control and will, the bugs and their bites no longer tormented her; indeed, coming to grips with them was a part of her training in ahiṁsā and God-realisation.

    A mosquito's life span ranges from a few days to a few months. How short a time, and how presumptuous of us to end that life because of impulse and aggravation.

    I could argue that mosquitoes spread disease, and certainly coming from New Orleans and working in the medical field, I've read ample historical and modern evidence of that (though in the West, it's Lyme disease now rather than yellow fever and malaria).

    But could one also not argue that lack of compassion for even the smallest creature is also a disease? King Shibi cut his own flesh to save "only" a dove, after all. The mosquito feeds by its instinct, but I am supposedly "superior" to a bug because I can think, and act beyond instinct...

    I can take medicines to stop disease; I can use topical ointments to stop bug bite itching; I can't bring the dead back to life. Even if it is "only" a mosquito.

    Food for thought.

    Indraneela
    ===
    "I wait the power of one like thee, O Indra, gifts of a Helper such as thou art, Hero.
    Strong, Mighty God, dwell with me now and ever."
    Oṁ Indrāya Namaḥ.
    Oṁ Namaḥ Śivāya.

  10. #20
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    Re: Yama and Niyama: ahiṁsā or non-injury

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    I read the words of svāmī Lakṣman-jū which he comments upon ahiṁsā and says when fully practiced it takes one swiftly to their goal ( in this case he is discussing mokṣa).

    The more I read and study, non-injury comes up again and again. I am thinking 'why so much attention to this ? I see the value but is there more that I am missing ? '.

    To this I happen to arrive at a discussion between vyāsa-ji and his son śuka in the mahābhārata. He speaks to him of the vānaprastha āśrama ( vana =forest , forest dweller, or 3rd halting place) in life.
    He mentions this vānaprastha never takes note of the evil acts of others, never listens to what is said in dis-praise of others or himself - if this occurs he should remain perfectly silent. This is the medicinal treatment prescribed for him. Hence even listening that discusses injury to another is not healthy.

    Then vyāsa-ji says the following - engulfed within the dharma of ahiṁsā is every other duty and observance. He who forswears ( swears off) the religion of injury (called tikśnaṁ tanuṁ&#185 succeeds in attaining mokṣa whence is the assurance of harmlessness to all creatures.

    benefits of ahiṁsā

    ahiṃsāpratiṣṭhāyāṃ tatsamnidhau vairatyāgaḥ || 35
    (ahiṃsā pratiṣṭhāyāṃ tat samnidhau vaira tyāgaḥ)
    • ahiṃsā - as non-injury. Some call this non-violence.
      This infers to all beings ( even ourselves). At the ultimate level this ahisā when in full bloom brings no harm in thought, deed, word or action. ( see the 1st post of this string)
    • pratiṣṭhāyāṃ - to stand firm , based or rest on ; established ; to stand , stay , abide , dwell
    • tat - that
    • samnidhau - sam - together with , along with + nidhā - to be contained or situated or absorbed in , to rest in
    • vaira (from vīra) hostile , inimical , revengeful
    • tyāgaḥ - giving up; leaving , abandoning
    What this says IMHO,
    the one that is firmly established in ahiṃsā those that approach/come near abandon hostility.

    What does this suggest? No animosity comes to one that rests ( firmly established - pratiṣṭhāyāṃ) in this practice of non-injury.

    Now one must ask - what is firmly established ? It is my opinion that being grounded in ahiṃsā means in thought, deed, and action.

    praām

    words
    • Veda vyāsa वेद व्यास, the one who compiled the veda-s, or kṛṣṇa dvaipāyana
    • śuka - means the bright one, a parrot. śuka is the a son of vyāsa and known as the narrator of the bhāgavata-purāṇa to king parikṣit
    • tikśnaṁ tanuṁ -
      • tik+śa + naṁ ;
      • tik = to wound or injure + śa = śastra + na= as it were, like , as tanu - is the body , person, self; some say svakā tanu 'one's own person'; in this application it is considered 'body'.
      • Hence the body (tanu) of knowledge ( śastra) that addresses injury i.e. the sacrifical acts
    • ātma-vantam - ātma=Self + vanta or van = possess, win , become master of
    Last edited by yajvan; 04 August 2011 at 03:28 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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